U.S. stocks opened modestly higher on Monday ahead of the start of earnings season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 29 points to 8,175. The S&P 500 Index gained 3 points to 882 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 2 points to 1,758. It's a big week for financials, and so far, they are off to a good start. Goldman Sachs and Bank of America are higher thanks to positive comments from Meredith Whitney. Charles Schwab and Berkshire Hathaway are higher thanks to positive comments in Barrons over the weekend. One financial trading lower is CIT Group, down 25%, on concerns of an eventual bankruptcy. Outside the financials, a select number of techs are higher thanks to upgrades. Google, Cisco System, and Apple are higher on upgrades. Unisys is up 7% after reporting a pre-tax profit. The retailers are mixed. Best Buy is higher on an upgrade and Under Armour is lower on a downgrade. Within the first hour, the rally fizzled, then rebounded. The financials and some select techs remain strong. Through the morning, the averages shot higher. The Dow jumped 120 points while the Nasdaq rose 20 points. The financials are still acting great. Thanks Meredith Whitney. Through the morning and into the afternoon, the averages remained strong near the highs of day. In the last hour, the averages remained strong closing at the highs of the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 185 points, or 2.3%, at 8,331. The S&P 500 Index added 21 points, or 2.5%, to 901, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 37 points, or 2.1%, to close at 1,793.
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